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2281-1 Iinoh, Minami-Alps city, Yamanashi pref.
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cellular phone 090-3520-2635
kazu(English available)
From April 10th to July 30th,Oct 1st to Dec 20th
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Japanese manners and etiquettes

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Please click here to see our original volunteer works page.
10 things to learn from JAPAN
1. The Calm
2. The Dignity
3. The Ability
4. The Grace
5. The Order
6. The Sacrifice
7. The Tenderness
8. The Training
9. The Media
10. The Conscience
As proverb tells us, ”When in Rome, do as Romans do.”, you should do as Japanese do here while you are staying in Japan.
Ten principles(10訓)
These are the ten important points that we, Japanese usually have in common in our society.
1. Diligence
2. Sincerity
3. Obedience
4. Cleanliness/tidiness
5. Being hygienic
6. Modesty/reservedness (not being demanding)
7. Patience/endurance
8. Politeness/courtesy
9. Co-operation
10. Preciseness
Related site and article about Japanese manners
The following sites might help you to understand Japanese and Japanese culture.
The following site shows the ranking of each nation’s manner of the world.
The emplyees of the hotel industry voted to choose which country’s customers have been the most well mannered while staying at their hotels.

Japanese manners and etiquettes

Japanese manners and etiquettes
The manner of how to use chopsticks in Japan
 Historically, chopsticks have been used as the tools of dining in Chinese, Korean and Japanese culture. The photo above shows people in Singapore sharing food together. This is common among Chinese and possibly Koreans. Yet, this is very poor manners in Japan. In Japan, we usually put different chopsticks for everyone to use, and we tend to avoid using your own chopsticks to pick food if they are served for many people to share.
If they are very close to each other, just like among your families, we sometimes do not provide another chopsticks as public.
 When you go into a house, you are supposed to take off your shoes and put the direction of your shoes toward outside. You are supposed to do it while crouching on the wood floor, but not on the concrete floor. You are not supposed to walk on the entrance floor once you take off your shoes.
 Usually, slippers are provided in the house. Then, you are supposed to wear them in the house.
Yet, when you walk into the Japanese tatami mat rooms, you are not allowed to wear them. You are supposed to take off your slippers and leave them pointing outward from the tatami room.
 Once you come out of the tatami room, you are supposed to wear them again. In case different slippers are provided for the toilet, you must change into the slippers for the toilet use only. Then, you must take off your slippers and leave them right outside the door of the toilet. In that case, again, you are supposed to put the direction of slippers outward.
Japanese customs about parking cars
 As you can see from the photos shown above, Japanese tend to park their vehicles by putting the back first to the designated space instead of parking from the front whenever they park as their custom. This is exactly the same as putting your shoes before entering the houses. That’s because this way it is easier when you leave the house. Also, even when you leave by car, this makes your driving much safer and easier. Both cases are closely connected with Japanese nationality, and customs which is that people are trying to prepare for the future.
This is how Japan left the changing room after losing vs. Belgium. Spotless and with a ‘thank you’ note in Russian.
Foreigners in Japan
When foreign visitors come to Japan, they tend to come here without learning Japanese manners, which is gradually becoming a rather large problem in Japan as more and more tourists are visiting each year.  Throughout the past 20 years, more than 10,000 foreigners have visited our farm, both as guests and volunteers. When I accept foreign guests they stay at our guesthouse on the outskirts of my village. As I have accepted many guests from different countries all year around, I have had the opportunity to see the cultural behaviors of the different nations. Some seem to be similar to Japan in their mannerisms and culture, while others are quite different. Unfortunately, some of my own foreign visitors have caused issues and friction with the local Japanese because they did not take the time to learn the differences between their own culture and the customs, courtesies, and etiquette of Japan.

In order to lessen such troubles, I have written this article to help foreign visitors become more aware of the cultural differences Japan may have with their own country of origin. Japan is a kingdom of manners and etiquettes! In Japan there are probably 100 or 200 very detailed customs that should be observed for every 20 or 30 in other countries. I understand it would be difficult to learn all the Japanese manners in a short period of time, but I hope my article will educate you in at least the major points so that when you arrive will not accidentally offend the Japanese people around you and you will have a much more pleasant time overall.

I am not the only one with such concerns. The other day, one of the public polls indicated that over 80% of Japanese people are worried that our security will get worse as the number of foreign visitors to Japan increases. I believe that education is the answer to these. I have been personally encouraging our government to inform foreign visitors of Japanese manners. Otherwise, I am afraid troubles and frictions will continue to occur due to our cultural differences, and possibly increase to the point that many of the positive behaviors of the Japanese culture, including good security and manners, will disappear.

So far, the Japanese government has not taken this issue seriously. They have emphasized only the positive points of tourism, such as the economic effects. In the late 20th century there were only about 3 million foreign visitors to Japan each year. In 2003 our government started the "Visit Japan Campaign" and the figure jumped 5,240,000 in the span of a year. In 2008, when the Agency of Tourism was created, the number of foreign visitors started to catch up with other major countries and the figure moved up to 8,350,000. In 2014, we reached 13,410,000, in 2015-19,730,000 and in 2018-31,000,000. The people who work for this project are predicting the figure can be 40,000,000 by the year 2020 when we will hold another Tokyo Olympics and 60,000,000 by the year 2030.
Hopefully our government will recognize the trends and begin to support education programs for foreign visitors in Japanese manners, etiquette and culture. When you visit Japan, it will be greatly appreciated by us if you respect and follow our Japanese manners.
Consideration and Communication Etiquette in Japan
Example #1 Communication Consideration
Recently I received a request to be a farm stay volunteer from a European woman via email. I sent her my questionnaire and when I checked her reply the picture she attached was too small to see her at all. I asked her to send me another photo with a larger size. A few days later, I received her e-mail with another photo, but this time she was wearing sunglasses and I could not see her face. So I asked her again to send me another photo without sunglasses. The next day, I was shocked when she sent me another photo where she was intentionally making a very funny face. Finally, I decided not to ask her for any further photos. Only when she asked, "Why do you want so many photos of me, Kazu?" I made up my mind to instruct her about Japanese manners, telling her, "You should not wear sunglasses when you take a photo that you are going to send to any host whom you are asking to let you stay. I think you should know that." Then, next day she wrote to tell me "Kazu, I changed my mind. I decided not go to your place. "I replied with, "That's fine. You can decide whatever you like. Yet, you should know that you are not supposed to wear sunglasses when you take a photo for that kind of occasion. I don't know in other countries, but here in Japan it is bad manners." She only replied by sending my email back to me. I presumed she must be mad and just returned my message directly without a reply.

This is one tiny example of how many subtle differences in manners there can be between the Japanese and other nationalities, and of how easy it is to not know them and end up unintentionally offending a Japanese person. Possibly in other countries sending a photo while wearing sunglasses does not bother people that much, but in Japan, it is very much against our manners and would be considered very rude.
Example #2 Communication Etiquette
Another point this story brings up is communication etiquette. When foreigners send me a request to volunteer on the farm, or even to schedule a trip to pick fruit, much of the time if they end up deciding against coming to the farm they don't call or write to give a reason for their decision; instead, they just suddenly stop communicating with me. It has gotten to the point that if someone does inform me of a change in their plans, I am actually a little amazed.

In Japan this behavior is not appropriate. In Japanese etiquette is it appropriate to inform your correspondent of your specific reason for not keeping your appointment or changing your mind and apologize for causing any troubles.
Example #3 Communication and Security
Last fall, during our apple harvest, I was quickly driving to the local store to buy lunch for our staff. On the way back to our farm, about 25 meters away, I saw a tall Western guy with blond hair and a backpack walking on the street next to one of our major areas of farmland. Usually, any foreigners in this area are heading for Nakagomi Orchard to volunteer or as a fruit-picking customer.

As I approached him, I asked, "Where are you heading?"
He did not respond. I think he was a little amazed to see me and hear a Japanese person speak English out here in the farm country.
So I asked him more directly, "Are you coming to Nakagomi Farm?"
Finally, he replied, "Yes."
I knew that I had not accepted any volunteers who were supposed to arrive today, so I asked "Did you come here to pick fruit?"
He responded, "No, I came here to help on the farm."
This shocked me - he was hoping to be a volunteer. He did not make a reservation with me in advance or even try to contact me before he arrived. Deliberately, I asked him, "Did you make a reservation?"
He said, "No, I did not." He was hoping to just show up at our farm and stay for a few days to work as a volunteer.
At that moment, I reached a conclusion about him and decided to give him a short but very important lesson. "You should make a reservation in advance if you want to stay with us as a volunteer, right?"
He did not say anything.
I continued, "This is not good. I don't know anything about you at all. How can I let a stranger come stay at our place? Why didn’t you write to me first?"
He said, "I had no time to do that."
I was too busy at the moment to interview him, so I told him, "I am in a hurry. Everyone is waiting for the lunch that I am delivering. I'm so sorry, but I can't spend enough time with you to interview you. I can't accept you this time. Please go back to Tokyo or wherever you are heading."

Over the last 20 years of accepting volunteers, I have had many surprising incidences with foreigners, usually due to our cultural differences, but this one stands out to me. I have asked foreign people about this case and most said that even in their country local people would not accept a stranger like this. Maybe there are a few places where it might be acceptable, or even common, for foreign strangers to visit local people without notice, and they would welcome him/her to stay. Maybe some volunteers have had experiences where they saw a host's posting and it was fine to just show up to help without contacting the host in advance. However, I think it is the general consensus that people would most likely refuse a stranger coming to volunteer or visit with them without interviewing them first. In Japan, this gentlemen's behavior is considered very scary. Japanese people never imagine this kind of thing would occur and they would not think of doing something like this themselves.

After communicating with people all over the world for many years, I have found it to be interesting how much personality and the level of manners one can detect through e-mail communications. In some cases this has been helpful when selecting which volunteers to accept into our private house. As we are all still strangers until we actually meet each other, we all need to be very careful.
Example #4 Cell Phone etiquette in Japan
In Japan, people usually switch off their mobile phones or set them to silent mode to be courteous when they take public transportation. To my surprise, it seems that this may only happen in Japan. I have heard in many places around the world that people talk aloud to their friends or talk to others on their phones while on the trains or buses. This behavior would be very shocking to Japanese people.

We had two very nice volunteers from Netherlands recently. While they stayed here, I asked them about the general mobile phone etiquette they have witnessed in public areas, such as buses or trains, throughout their travels. They said people use mobile phones freely and talk aloud in many of the countries they have visited. More recently the governments in some countries, like Netherlands, have introduced regulations on the trains that designate one carriage as a quiet zone and people are not allowed to talk on the mobile phones or listen to music without earphones. Sadly, they also told me that many people ignore the rules and are loud in those carriages.
When Japan Faces a Crisis
The Japanese have been well known as a nation for being patient, diligent, co-operative, precise, and creative. These traits have developed out of our geography, ethnic background, and long history.

Around the globe there are some lucky areas where there are no major natural disasters, like Ireland. On the contrary, other areas have a great many natural disasters, and Japan is one of these. We have, as you know, earthquakes, tidal waves, typhoons, avalanches (in northern part of Japan, the accumulation of snow can be 4-5 meters high every year!), landslides, volcanic eruptions, floods, and other disasters all the time. Every year, we hear of serious damages all over in Japan. Such a geographical disadvantage has been formative in creating the Japanese national character.

About 75% of Japan is mountainous land, where very few people make their living. Most Japanese live on the flat lands that make up only about 25% of our country. This geographical influence has helped the Japanese organize regional communities where people help each other create the society we live in. Teamwork is one of the most precious philosophies for Japanese people, and it is developed in offices, schools, regional/local communities, and even in Japanese sports. Japan’s geographic situation is very rare in the world and from it the Japanese have learned many good traits.

Historically, Japan has gone through many changes and through these changes our good traits were developed. One very significant event occurred at the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate period 1850's, when Japan was forced to open its doors to the West. The next big change was the Meiji Restoration in 1868, when a chain of events restored practical abilities and consolidated the political system under the Emperor of Japan. The Restoration led to enormous changes in Japan's political and social structure and was responsible for the emergence of Japan as a modernized nation in the early twentieth century. Then most recently, after WW2, it took Japan only 15 years to recover from a completely destroyed status. Our economic success has been internationally acclaimed as miraculous.
Japan Shows More Class In A Crisis.
How does Japan deal with a crisis?
This is a video showing how Japanese behave differently from Americans after a natural disaster strikes them.
Why are the Japanese so calm in the face of disaster?
This is the short interview with David McDaniel, an American pastor. He had been staying in Tokyo and is explaining to people overseas how the Japanese behaved differently from other nations when they had a great natural disaster.
Individualism versus Community living and the spirit of Teamwork
A great part of a person's behavior in adulthood stems from the ethics they are taught in childhood. Japanese people learn that good manners and security are closely related when it comes to the impact people have on the community around them. People in western cultures, like America, are usually taught two important words - "Freedom" and "Equality", and the concept of "Individualism". Americans have a long history of caring about their freedom and equality. The American idea of individualism is the complete opposite from our way of life and sense of value. Japan is a community-based society and the people in each community are like one big family. We accomplish a lot of our daily activities through "teamwork" – the most important part of our basic philosophy.

In Japan, everybody knows each other in our neighborhoods because we have been living with each other for hundreds or thousands of years, and in some places, much longer. Even in the cities, we have regional communities where people work together, help each other, and do lots of things for the public together. For example, when someone passes away all the people from their neighborhood participate in the funeral events. The neighbors help organize the ceremony, work as volunteers, and everyone attends the funeral. When someone builds a new house, everyone in the neighborhood comes to celebrate the completion together. When someone gets sick and goes to hospital to stay, everyone visits him/her in the hospital and helps care for him/her. Even street cleaning is done together with other neighbors. For traditional local festivals, each household joins in and works as volunteers to prepare for the day. Each community all over the country holds monthly meetings to discuss all these sorts of activities and events, and the people decide on local rules, regulations, and manners that lead them to better lives
Example #1 Teamwork
In general, people in the United States do not have the same sense of community as what we have in Japan. Many people do not know their neighbors in the States. People do not have the regional contact with neighbors and their lifestyle is very individualistic. I personally believe that is one of the main causes for high crime rates. However, there is a minority group in the United States called the "Amish", whose way of life is completely different from most Americans. There are some hundred thousand Amish people in the USA, living mostly in the North-Eastern region. Many are descended from people who left Germany and other parts of Europe in the 1800s. In their daily lives they try not to use any modern technology such as electric products; instead they use lanterns. They don't drive cars, instead they ride in horse-drawn carriages. They decided to create a society in which people live as self-sufficiently as possible, opposing modern progression and conveniences. Much of what they accomplish throughout the day is done so through the help of their neighbors, the community around them, and working together. The Japanese are, in some ways, similar to the Amish and I believe, because of their sense of community, the Amish have very good security.
Cleanliness in Japan
When foreign visitors are asked for their top five impressions of Japan, they always point out Japan's cleanliness. However, not many foreigners notice what makes Japanese people keep any public spots clean all over the country, and which also gives them good security and manners.
Cleanliness Example #1 and Teamwork Example #2
You might have heard that Singapore is a very clean country, as I have. I imagine the public areas in Singapore are the cleanest in the world. We hear that people rarely see any littering on the streets. You can't even chew gum, or smoke in most public areas. The regulations are draconian in Singapore, and you get a harsh penalty or high fine, if you violate these rules. The cleanliness of Singapore has been created by the strict rules that the government imposes on the country. The country is small, which I think is a contributing factor to the government's ability to manage the nation this way. When I asked some Singaporeans how they feel about their strict rules, they told me that they did not like them. However, if they removed their very strict rules and regulations, they feared people might start littering in the public areas all over Singapore. Then, sadly, the country would become littered like many other South-East Asian countries, or other places in the world. There is a clear difference between Japanese and Singaporean cleanliness.

In Japan, our cleanliness has been created by the people's willingness, instead of by force. This behavior, along with hygiene and teamwork, is part of our history and is traditionally taught at home, schools, and through the local communities. At school, starting from kindergarten all the way until graduating from high school, in each classroom the students are divided into small groups. Each group is assigned an area to clean every day – teachers' rooms, classrooms, toilets, library, hallways, front garden, backyard, stairs, and all the other public areas. Besides daily cleaning of all the school facilities, students usually have a "Big Cleaning Day" a couple of times a year, which means all the students spend a half day deep-cleaning everything including the lights, the windows, and waxing the floors. In other countries, professionals are hired to clean the schools. As far as I know, Japan is the only country in the world where the students, together, are responsible for cleaning their whole school and keeping it clean. This is another example of how we are taught good manners, through working together with other people, from when we are very young.
Hygiene and Health in Japan
You might have heard that Japanese people live the longest in the world. One of the main reasons for this is the uniqueness of the Japanese community based society, where people help each other, which keeps Japan as a highly mannered nation as well as helps our overall national longevity.
Example #1 Bathing
Cleanliness and hygiene are also big contributors to our longevity, as well as our traditional use of the onsen (hot spring). We have more than a hundred thousand onsen facilities all over Japan. Here in Yamanashi, one of 47 prefectures, we have more than 500 onsens. Each onsen is naturally endowed with minerals that provide different health benefits.
Example #2 Healthy Food
Japanese traditional meals have become known internationally for being healthy. Again, our education begins in elementary school, and even some kindergartens, where the students and teachers have school lunches provided. They all eat the same food together in their classrooms. Also in kindergarten, all the children are taught to clean their mouths by gargling, and to wash their hands with soap every day. As you see on the video, some students go to the cafeteria where professional chefs prepare the meals and bring food to the classroom, then the students set the food in front of the other students one by one.
The Japanese school lunch program started in one of the private schools in Yamagata prefectures in 1889. The purpose of having meals provide at this school was to teach the children about "healthy food", "hygienic management", "manners/etiquette" and general "food knowledge". The program did not spread nation-wide until after WW2, when Japanese children did not have enough healthy food and the government made a new law to try to ensure all Japanese children were provided equally with good nutrition and food education.

Once students get into senior high school, they are educated in nutrition and they can bring a lunch from home, eat in the school cafeteria, or buy take away food from a local shop.
Example #3 Wearing Facemasks
It is common in Asian countries to see many people wearing face masks because of the pollution in the air, such as in China, which has been known to have high levels of PM2.5 pollution in some of the major cities, or in other Asian countries where it can be very dusty during dry season due to the undeveloped roads. Many Japanese people also wear facemasks in public areas, not for this reason but to help prevent the spread of air-borne illnesses, especially during winter. This shows how conscious of hygiene people are in their daily lives in Japan.
Example #4 Putting out your Futon
On sunny days, Japanese people put their futons and all the other linens outside to dry and warm up. As you travel through the country, you might notice such scenes all over Japan. While you are sleeping, lots of perspiration comes out of your body and the futon easily absorbs it, which makes it necessary to air out your futon. It is a very hygienic idea to do this because the sunshine effectively kills any germs and stops any bacteria or molds growing in your futon. Besides that, the sun will warm up your futon so you will sleep warm at night.
Example of Trust, Honesty, and Safety in Japan
You might have heard that Japan is one of the safest countries in the world. Why has it been such a safe country, then?
Japanese people are astonishingly noble and honest.
The lost 30.3 million dollars have been given back to the owners.
The Chairperson Nakano of National Public Safety Agency (the Minister of the National Police Agency) announced that approximately 5,700 safes were sent to the local police stations after people found them in the coastal areas that were completely destroyed by the 3.11 Tohoku Great Quake.
From within them, a total of approximately 31.6 million dollars was successfully collected by the police and 96% of the whole amount was returned to the owners.
Example #1 Leaving your belongings unattended
If you have the chance to visit a school in Japan, for example a college, you many notice that the students leave their bags on the desks or chairs in the classrooms and walk away without thinking to go to the toilets, to buy a drink from vending machines, or to talk to their friends on their mobile phones outside. They probably have a lot of valuable items in their bags, such as wallets and mobile phones, and even though everyone in Japan knows this, bags are never stolen around the campus. In many other countries, if you leave your personal belongings unattended, even for a second, your items can disappear. I heard of many instances of that happening in the library or a classroom when I was a graduate student in the United States. In Japan, the stories I hear are quite the opposite. When foreigners have lost or forgotten their day bag, wallet, or passport somewhere, they are always surprised to have it returned to them completely intact! This is not unusual for Japanese people, but for foreigners it is quite impressive how honest the Japanese people are and how that increases the security levels in Japan.

The following is an e-mail that I received from my Australian friend:

"When I first went to Starbucks with my friend in Japan I was so shocked when she said to choose a table by leaving my bag there, then go and order. I was unsure because in other countries people would remove the bag assuming it is lost (and give it to the staff) or maybe steal it! I trusted her anyway and ordered my coffee. Afterwards, I returned to my seat and everything was there as I had left it. Now I do this in food courts and cafes anywhere in Japan, leaving my bag or jumper so I can quickly and easily sit down once my food and drink is ready."
Example #2 Lost and Found/Hitchhiking
Many of the stories I hear come from the foreign volunteers on our farm. For example, one volunteer from France stayed here for a few weeks, and afterwards travelled to the Western part of Japan to continue his holiday. In Kyoto, he lost his bag which contained his wallet, passport and air ticket to go back home. He did not remember where he left it. A few days later he went into a local police box and he was very surprised to learn that his lost bag was found by someone and taken to another police station in town, where he could go and retrieve it everything.
Hitch-hiking is an activity that can be very dangerous to do in some countries. However, in Japan, many of the foreigners who come to our farm, through my help and the help of others, successfully and safely reach their destinations through hitch-hiking.

This is an e-mail from our French volunteer who encountered both situations:

"Hi Kazu,
Everything is alright for me! It took me only 6h to arrive to Kyoto by hitchhiking (with 5 different people). I am now heading to Kobe after a lovely time in Kyoto. This is such a beautiful city. I particularly enjoyed Japanese gardens.
And funny adventure: I lost my wallet (with passport, visa, credit card and 18,000 yen.). Someone found it and gave it to the police! Japanese honesty I presume.
I hope everything is well. Thanks again for everything during my stay."
Example #3 Found Money
The following is an article that I saw in the news on the internet on March 5th, 2015:

  On March 1, a lady in Takarazuka City went to Nishinomiya City and bought some furniture at a recycling shop and brought it back home. When she checked inside it, she was astonished to find 1,900,000yen in cash. She immediately took the cash to the local police station. The police investigated but there was no documentation on the previous owner, so they could not find out who sold the furniture to that shop, and the cash did not belong to the shop. Now the police station will keep the cash for three months and if no one comes to claim it, all the cash will be given to the new owner of the furniture. This is a very simple, everyday story in Japan, which shows that transparent honesty is not an unusual character trait for Japanese people.
Example #4 Please Conserve Energy in Japan
Please remember to turn off the switch for any electrical devices when you leave a room. Japanese people tend to turn off all electrical devices to avoid fire hazards and to conserve energy. I have seen many foreigners who do not pay much attention to this.
Example #5 Japanese Responsiveness and Care for others
Two years ago, the United World College (UWC) in Hong Kong came over on a school trip to our farm for the first time. All of the female students stayed upstairs in our volunteer dormitory. There were 7 or 8 students, with lots of heavy suitcases, and after they moved in I found tiny crack in the ceiling below. I moved all of the students downstairs for their safety and called a local carpenter to come and fix it. The next day, two carpenters came and repaired the whole ceiling completely, to make it much stronger, in only one day. The teacher from UWC was very impressed and she told me that it can take a few months for a craftsmen to fix something like that in her home country of Australia.
History of speaking English in Japan
For a long time, the number of foreign visitors to Japan was less than a million each year. Even when our government started the "Visit Japan" campaign in 2003, the figure was still only 5,240,000, which was a lot less than any other major country in the world. Most developed countries were in the range of 20 million or more. Only Japan had a very small number of foreign visitors, even though the number of Japanese going abroad was 16,520,000 in 2003.

There are a few reasons why not many foreigners visited Japan. Geographically, Japan is an island country with no land connection with any other country. Beginning in the 1500s, many European countries tried to colonize the whole of Asia, as well as other parts of the world. First, Spain and Portugal set off for Asia and South/Central America to colonize and spread the influence of Christianity. Afterwards, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and France joined in, and eventually the U.S. and Russia followed. In order to defend Japan from colonization and from the spread of Christianity, in the early 1600s Tokugawa Shogun made the decision to close the door to any overseas countries except the Netherlands. This continued until the mid-1800s when the U.S. forcibly opened the door. Tokugawa Shogun's decision led to the reason why Japan has only one language - Japanese. Many people, including Japanese, misunderstand that English is NOT our second language but it is just one of many foreign languages to us. In Japan not many people speak English. I would say that only 0.1-0.2 percent of our whole nation can speak English.  Japan is very close to a mono-ethnic society. I would think nearly 95% of the nation is of Japanese ethnicity, and only few percent are Okinawans and Ainu. One research company reported that the worst part of their trip to Japan was that people in Japan cannot communicate in English. They were very impressed by Japanese hospitality, cleanliness, security, hygiene, cuisine, and technology. Foreigners should realize why people do not speak English in this country.
How to take care of Futon, blanket and bed sheets here in Japan
 In Japan, we tend to put the futon and blankets that we use outside under the sunshine. You might see that here and there on sunny days. That's because it is hygienic and makes you warm while sleeping at night time.
Yet, unfortunately, quite a high percentage of non-Japanese volunteers do not follow my directions of how to use futon and blankets even though I teach them in detail every time when they check in at the dorm.
Please do put your futon and blanket outside the house, either on the wood deck or the wood fence or the marble table on the morning you check out. Instead, put it on one of the metal poles set out for drying. Then, use plastic holders not to move the futon and blankets away.
Make sure the weather of the day is clearly sunny and not damp.
Then, if you leave on the afternoon of the day, you have to put them back in the Futon room properly before you leave.
In case you leave in the morning, you can ask other volunteers or Kazu-san to put them inside later before it gets cold.
Always remember that we need to put them back inside the house while it is sunny enough.
 During late spring and summer, you can put them back around 5:00p.m.
Yet, from October to April, you have to put them inside the dorm before 2:00p.m.
You always need to check the sunset time and the temperature on the day.
I often have seen Futon & blankets hanging at night time. That’s what we cannot understand at all in Japan. Please make sure that you put them back inside the house while the sun is still above you. In other words, a few hours before sunset.
 The only item you wash is BED SHEET. Don’t wash blanket & Futon.
I saw some volunteers washed them when they checked out. I saw some volunteers washed blankets and sometimes even Futon. That’s incredible for Japanese to understand.

The information for our guests

The information for our guests
Please make sure to read the following information when you come over to our farm for fruit picking.
<Chinese(Simplified / Traditional)>
<<Nakagomi Orchard,Fruit Picking in Japan>> 400-0222 2281-1 Iinoh, Minami-Alps city, Yamanashi pref. TEL:055-283-0505 FAX:055-283-0505